Child safety precautions have come a long way from a playpen and plastic electrical outlet covers. With modern technology, you can be better prepared in case of an emergency (or even the everyday distractions that can lead to emergencies), protect your family online, and feel more secure in your home. To wrap up Child Safety Month, here are 5 tech safety products no home with kids should be without:
In a nighttime fire emergency, you might be in a different part of the house than your children — and even if you’re just a hallway away, every second counts. The KidSmart Vocal Smoke Alarm detects smoke like a regular smoke alarm, but instead of a standard alarm sound, it wakes kids up with your own recorded voice (shown to be more effective at waking children than alarms) alternating with an 85-decibel temporal-tone siren. Record instructions on what to do and where to go, so each child has a custom escape plan from their room. Includes a “fire drill” feature, so your family can practice what to do in case of fire.
This simple and surprisingly inexpensive (just $199 from the manufacturer) gadget allows you to see and communicate with anyone at your front door from your smartphone, whether you’re at home, at work, or on-the-go. It’s an easy way for older kids to alert you when they get home after school, and the family can safely screen who’s at the door at any time. With the optional Lockitron, you can also lock and unlock the door remotely with your phone.
The safest and most advanced window treatments are motorized, opening and closing with the touch of a button. The clean, uncluttered look is stylish and automation makes your home that much more efficient, but the real benefit is that it eliminates the danger of strangulation from cords — a danger in homes with traditional blinds.
Parents with teens often utilize GPS-based phone apps to keep tabs on them — the Child Tracking Alarm is like a toddler version (no mobile phones needed). Clip the tracker to your child and keep the alarm on your key chain. If your child strays outside of the radius you specify, the alarm goes off. It’s a good way to keep small children from wandering off in public, but the tracker is also useful at home, where a brief distraction can lead to a dangerous situation. The alarm can alert you if your child wanders out of the room, goes outside, or leaves the yard.
Protect your kids while online with the Net Nanny, parenting software that allows you to control the sites and content your children have access to. More than a blocking program, the software will also monitor social media activity, alerting you if they communicate with strangers. It even detects cyberbullying!
What tools do you use to make your home a little safer?